THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2006
Another fantastic night to fly and I'm on the schedule. I called up for my wx brief around 6pm and was happy to only have a short conversation. Short conversation with briefer = a beautiful VFR flight. Flight bag in hand a smooch from the bride and I was headed to N99. My CFI was early and we were able to get started right away. We reviewed my flight plan, I broke it down detail by detail with explanation and noted the 10% increase to the climb out info due to temps. Tonight's plan was to depart N99, direct to PNE (Northeast Philadelphia) for a stop and go then on to locate and land at N10 (Perkiomen Valley).
On departure from N99 I contacted Philadelphia approach, upon approaches reply I responded with the following info, 2746C, Cessna 172, departing 27 Brandywine, request transition through Bravo with Flight following at 3000, VFR direct Northeast Philadelphia. After a short pause App. Responded with a squawk code the altitude I requested and ALT setting. COOL!! I was on my way! I passed the large towers south of Wings (KLOM) and reported having northeast in sight to Phl App. They cut me loose to squawk VFR and I thanked them for their help this evening. With a flip of the switch I contacted Northeast tower and reported my position, that I have current info and my intentions for a stop and go. I was directed to report entry to downwind for runway 33. Completed the landing checklist I am now advised clear to land r/w 33. I acknowledge clearance and prepare for my base turn. I catch a good look at the Delaware river as I check right then left for my turn. Adding a second notch of flaps with everything looking good I make my turn to final and add the last notch of flaps on short final. Sure is dark out here and I am trying to scan so I don't get that blackhole effect. Over the numbers and looking good I touchdown with solid chirps and come to a stop. My quick take off check, fuel, flaps, mixture and full power. Off we go headed for N10 Perk.
I contact Phl App and get flight following to N10. I pass those towers again(they are well off my left wing) and I start my look for Wings (LOM) which is my checkpoint. I see Wings at my 9 o' clock and only wish I was flying in there for the Wings BBQ on May 20th. Back to keeping on course I dial in MXE 45* From radial to give me a cross check point for the "ballpark" location of N10. Sure enough, with the needle movement and my leg times I click up the lights and there it is at my 1 o' clock. I head south to set up for a turn back in for a 45* entry to downwind runway 27. I think I screwed up my call in to Perkiomen traffic with a west location instead of the south south west. Anyway, checking left and right for any traffic I turn to enter the downwind. landing checklists complete I continue through the pattern and turn final with a lot of dark out there. Keeping in mind the power lines (which I didn't see = darkness) and the trees which I can make out the outline of I remain just high of glideslope. Runway made I pull the power, flair and touchdown with a short roll out. This is narrow, dark and am I glad I'm back taxing for take off.
Underway for home and climbing out I can't help but notice I am sharing the night sky with all the big boys headed into PHL. You can count them, they are lined up for miles. I am set up for a direct to MXE VOR and track very nicely. With the beacon in sight I announce my position as I cross over Brandywine and position for the 45* for downwind 27. Checking for traffic I enter the downwind with checklists already completed. My spacing looks good and I call out my turn to base and final with a nice landing. My CFI says full power one more round and off we go. Again scanning to see I'm clear all obstacles and checking the instruments for climb out. I turn to the heading for noise abatement and reach 1200 as I turn cross wind. With a check for traffic to my left and a quick scan for any 45* entry's to the downwind I make my call and turn. A landing procedure check and I'm ready to bring her in. Turning base then final I set 46C down with a heavy chirp and then right rudder to get me on center. Calling down and clear I taxi back and tie down. It was a great flight, I was complimented on my navigation and calm.
I am up again Friday for some landings and practice are maneuvers did ask my CFI if the Bride can come along for the Night Cross Country and he said sure, it will be nice to have her along. Woooo Hoooo.....she will love that !!